Skip to main content

Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

See other formats




WITH the religious revolution which we call the Reformation,
education entered on a new phase of momentous consequence
for the future of the world. The ultimate effect was the creation
of a system of schools for every section of the community and the
transfer of authority in education from the Church to the State
over a considerable part of Western Europe. In the first instance,
however, there was no appearance of abrupt change. Even to
themselves the Reformers seemed simply to be carrying forward
the existing institutions, with only such alteration as was involved
in the displacement of one form of Church government by another;
and they were scarcely conscious of the far-reaching social changes
which their movement had made inevitable. What made the
transition comparatively easy in the sphere of education was the
fact that the Reformation was a direct outcome of the Northern
Renaissance, and that the new educational ideals which it in-
troduced were developed directly out of those of the humanists
who had been the dominant power on the intellectual side in the
half-century before the Reformation.

The course of humanism in the German States was very
much like what it had been in the Netherlands. Here also the
way was prepared for the revival of letters by an indigenous
literary and educational movement with its main centres in
the prosperous trading towns. Towards the end of the Four-
teenth Century universities sprang up in various cities. The
university of Prague, in Bohemia, was founded in 1348* and
within a few years had attracted so many students from all
parts of Germany that it had no fewer than ten thousand on
its roll. Vienna, the first really German university, was founded
by the House of Hapsburg in 1365, and between 1385 and 1409
universities were established at Heidelberg, Cologne, Erfurt,
Leipsic, and Rostock. Half a century later a new period of